Russia rejects Europe's UN draft resolution on Iran
RUSSIA: Russia rejected a draft UN resolution put forward by European
powers targeting Iran's nuclear programme, saying the proposed measures
did not advance objectives agreed on earlier by major world powers.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the resolution put forward
Wednesday by Britain, France and Germany would not be effective in
containing Iran's programme and contradicted the consensus reached by
the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany.
"I think that in this respect the draft resolution that has been
presented clearly does not further the objectives that the six powers
agreed on earlier," Lavrov was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.
Those goals, Lavrov said, are preventing proliferation of "sensitive
technology" without the supervision of the International Atomic Energy
Agency, while also keeping open "all necessary channels of communication
The foreign ministry's deputy head, Sergei Kislyak, said separately
that Russia was "carefully studying" the draft resolution. However, a
"long negotiating process is required" to find a mutually acceptable
decision, he was quoted as saying by Interfax.
Russia has long resisted the West's push for tough sanctions, partly
due to a lucrative contract to construct Iran's first civilian nuclear
power station at Bushehr.
The draft resolution, which proposes "necessary measures" to prevent
nuclear and missile technology from reaching Iran, does not directly
mention the construction work at Bushehr.
The United States has called on Russia to halt nuclear cooperation
with Iran, but France's UN ambassador, Jean-Marc de la Sabliere, said
the Europeans favoured exempting the lucrative Bushehr project.
Kislyak told Interfax: "There are much bigger problems there than the
construction of the Bushehr station."
In comments released Saturday, Lavrov repeated Russia's insistence
that Iran respect international demands on its nuclear programme, but
also said: "We cannot support and will actively oppose any attempt to
use the Security Council to punish Iran or to use Iran's nuclear
programme in order to promote the idea of regime change."
The draft warns that the Security Council would "consider further
measures" if Iran still refused to comply with a demand that it freeze
uranium enrichment, a process used to produce fuel for nuclear reactors
but which, if extended, can also provide the raw material for bombs.
Moscow, Friday, AFP